If you go to any gardening center you will see a variety of heavy and expensive garden sculptures. Concrete frogs, fairies, mushrooms and an assortment of other creatures. However, if you have some artistic skill and some time, you can create your own yard sculptures far less expensively. If you buy your own concrete and sand, you can make several mid-sized statues for the price of one small pre-made one. You can get exactly the creatures you want, too.
1 bag Masonry cement
1 bag Sand
Several cups worth of colored pebbles, stones, pottery shards, glass pieces, metal scraps, etc
1 gallon bucket and a disposable stick, for mixing
5 gallon bucket for molding (optional)
Measuring cups (large plastic drink cups work well)
Items to sculpt with (bamboo skewers, awl, spoon, etc)
Simpler creatures like frogs will be much easier to create than complex ones like faeries. Mushrooms would probably need to be made in two pieces and joined with wet cement once dried. Once you know what you are going to create, you need to make some sketches of it from all four sides and the top. This will help you keep track of which parts stick out and which ones are recessed, which you will need to know when creating your mold.
Fill the five gallon bucket with sand or make a pile of sand a few inches taller and wider than the statue you want to create. Wet the sand until a handful easily stays in a ball shape when squeezed. Scoop out the center to the approximate size you want your statue. You may need to add more water as you get deeper into the bucket/pile. Use the tools to create your shape. You can add wet sand back onto places you’ve scooped away, if necessary.
If you are making something textured or patterned, like a scaly animal or spotted mushroom, once you are done sculpting the shape, gently press colored pebbles or other decorative bits into the sand, slightly less than halfway. As the concrete dries, these should harden into the piece and create the scales or spots for your statue. You can also just mix pebbles into the cement mix, but these will not be as colorful and will be much more random.
Mix three parts concrete to one part sand in your mixing bucket. Stir it together well, then add water slowly, until the mixture is like a thick batter and mixes easily. Depending on the size of your statue mold, you may need to mix and pour the cement in batches. Allow the piece to dry for 24 hours, then pour water around the edges to loosen the sand before extracting or invert the bucket to unmold.